President Donald Trump has signed the Taxpayer First Act, clearing the way for reforms aimed at improving the tax return process for taxpayers.
The act, formerly HB 3151, changes the management and oversight of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Among the many requirements it contains are the development of a comprehensive customer service strategy, the establishment of an IRS Independent Office of Appeals, and restrictions on property seizure and the use of private debt collectors.
The Taxpayer First Act also includes provisions to combat identity theft and tax refund fraud. It calls for an automated system to verify taxpayer information, modernizes technology within the IRS and expands the use of electronic information systems. Several other aspects address the laws that govern the IRS as well.
The bill has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, having been approved in both houses by voice votes—an indication of high confidence that a bill will pass. An earlier version, HR 1957, prohibited the IRS from creating free tax preparation software. However, this provision was criticized for favoring for-profit tax preparation/filing service providers. That bill eventually stalled; the current version omits this stipulation.
The Taxpayer First Act takes effect immediately. You can read the official bill on the House’s website, and we invite you to contact James Moore’s individual tax CPAs if you have any questions on how these changes could impact you.
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